During his darkest career moments, Paolo Rossi turned to music fleetingly.
While cooling his heels during a long suspension due to a betting scandal, the Italian footballer, who passed away at the age of 64 on December 9, tried his luck as a singer.
Courtesy of his profile, he managed to land a deal with major label EMI to release two tracks, Domenica alle tre and San Diego.
It is the former I could only find after a deep dive in YouTube. That's a probably a good thing as I heard enough. To claim Domenica alle tre as generic piece would be an understatement.
The track is composed as a standard Italian folk-pop song with brittle keyboards that played the lead and bass notes and percussion that sounds something out of a fair ground.
One gets the feeling Rossi also found the whole thing unconvincing. His vocals are nothing resembling the dogged tenacity displayed on the football pitch.
The interesting feature about the whole forgotten affair, however, are the lyrics.
While it’s unclear who wrote the track – Rossi’s career wasn’t known for his musicianship, so I would safely count him out – the whimsical subject matter is near to his heart.
Translated to Sunday at three, the lyrics detail the sometimes superstitious relationship footballers have with their other halves.
Rossi advises his partner to forget about him when the game kicks off at 3pm at the risk of being jinxed.
“Don't think about me on Sunday at three/ Otherwise you know there is trouble on the pitch,” he sings. “All I will see around me is you/ My adversaries have all your eyes and I see your golden hair on their heads.”
Sensing his partner's hurt, Rossi manages to commend her "assiduity", before brushing her off with more pleas to forget him until the final whistle.
Domenica alle tre wasn't a hit by any means and went down as an odd curiosity in what was then Rossi's uncertain life.
Fortunately, it only marked the end of the first half of his career.
Prior to the 1982 World Cup, Rossi managed to get himself reinstated in the Italian national side and played a pivotal role in their triumph.
His tally of six goals not only made him the tournament's leading scorer but cemented his legendary status in Italy and the greater footballing world.
In that light, maybe Domenica alle tre wasn't a throwaway song after all. Not only was it a warning to his near and dear, but a message to the world that his best was yet to come.